In recent months there have been many rumours about the status of Summorum Pontificum in the Church. The work of the International Federation Una Voce in collaboration with the proper ecclesial authorities led to Pope Benedict’s document which opened up the Extraordinary Form of the Mass for the whole church.
Continuing in our role of representing the faithful attached to the Usus Antiquior to the hierarchy, FIUV have produced the following statement in response to the rumours that have been circulating.
The International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), founded in 1965, brings together associations of the lay faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite (the Traditional Latin Mass).
In 2007, the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum recognised the vitality of the traditional liturgy, the freedom of priests to celebrate it, and of the faithful to request it. This has led to an ongoing increase in the number of celebrations of the ancient Latin Mass, and of its spiritual fruits.
During 2020 the FIUV conducted a worldwide survey of the faithful on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. From this survey, which included results from 364 dioceses in 52 countries, we found:
• The ancient Latin Mass is deeply appreciated by groups of faithful of all ages, especially families with children, young people and converts, found in all social and cultural environments, on all continents and in an ever increasing number of countries.
• In many areas the increased availability of this Mass has favoured the normalisation of relations between the faithful attached to it and their bishops, relations increasingly characterised by mutual understanding and respect.
Nevertheless, we have noticed that, contrary to the previous policy of the Holy See, there are still people within the Church, including some bishops, who would like to see the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite explicitly suppressed, or subject to further restrictions. For this reason, the FIUV, in view of the faithful who adhere to the Latin Mass, feels the duty to express its opinion, encouraged by Pope Francis’ exhortations to the members of the Church to use parrhesia with the necessary humility.
The growth of interest in the traditional liturgy is not due to nostalgia for a time we do not remember, or a desire for rigidity: it is rather a matter of opening ourselves to the value of something that for most of us is new, and inspires hope. Pope Francis has characterised the ancient liturgy in terms of a “sense of adoration” (Press conference of 28 July 2013), we can also apply his words to it: a “living history that welcomes us and pushes us forward” (Evangelii Gaudium 13).
Today we only wish to be part of that “great orchestra” of “unity in variety” which, as Pope Francis said (General Audience of 9 October 2013), reflects the true catholicity of the Church. The Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum continues to transform the conflicts of the past into harmony: long may it to continue to do so.
Felipe Alanis Suarez, President www.fiuv.org